No-entry markers arouse further ire

Marlow St resident Trevor McStay is not happy with the new markers installed by the Dunedin City Council. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Marlow St resident Trevor McStay is not happy with the new markers installed by the Dunedin City Council. Photo by Craig Baxter.

Markers have been installed in Marlow St to further deter drivers from entering the St Kilda street from the Royal Cres end, further angering residents.

The street has been designated a ''quiet street'' under the South Dunedin cycle network and its two-way intersection with Royal Cres has become a one-way exit-only from Marlow St.

Some unhappy residents have started a petition calling for the street to be returned to its previous state.

Resident Trevor McStay said quite a few drivers were ignoring the changes and driving through in protest.

The installation of the markers last week just added to people's unhappiness about the changes, he said.

So far about 600 people, many from surrounding roads also affected by cycleway works, had signed the petition, which residents plan to present to the council at a meeting on Thursday.

Dunedin City Council transport project engineer Evan Matheson said the orange markers were installed to further emphasise people should not be entering the street at that intersection.

''People have still been driving in there.''

The markers indicated where the kerb would be extended to if the next stage of cycleway work was approved at next week's council meeting.

''That should reinforce what the new arrangement is.''

Transportation group manager Gene Ollerenshaw last month said the council was finding it was having to do bigger build-outs than expected on parts of the project.

Mr Matheson said while there was physical separation on Royal Cres between motorists and cyclists, on Marlow St cyclists and motorists would share the road.

If the work was approved additional kerbing, road markings and signage would be added, making the separation on the street clearer, he said.

Tenders for the work had been called for and could be let as soon as the end of the month, depending on the council's decision.

Take home pay

Councillors often appear on hearing panels and consulting committees - you don't want to know the hourly rates and number of hours. No-one (!!) wants to be that councillor who won't pay off the house or farm mortgage without the extra fees.

Professional accountability a lost cause?

Mathew: You may want to consider this. Council staff work fulltime and are well paid. They consider themselves to be "expert"in their roles. Many have worked for council for many years.  Many have benefits in their jobs. Many have their salary "performance linked" (whatever that means).The vast majority are unknown and hidden behind "general managers". They are not accountable to the public.

Elected councillors, on the other hand, do not work fulltime as councillors, they are not "experts" in the areas about which they have to make decisions that involve large expenditure, and every three years they are subject to a performance review, where they may well lose their jobs. They are not paid performance bonuses. They cannot be held responsible for their actions. With limited exceptions, they cannot be fired.

This is a very quaint system when you compare it with a large private business. Surely it is time to consider employing full-time well-paid councillors on, say, 9 year contracts - non renewable. Not directors who are paid but do not manage, but professional managers who can be held accountable and can be fired for non-performance. With the existing system this cannot happen.  


Why do we have a council butting heads with residents? Isn't the council meant to represent us the people? If we don't want something why is it still being forced on us?

Maybe it's time we all collectively stopped paying our rates until we get a council who is willing to represent us.

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